I recently learned about a company called Atlas Obscura that hosts an annual event named Obscura Day. It is a one-day festival where people across the world spend the day exploring an unusual local museum, abandoned place, quirky private gallery, ruins, and any other type of off-beat attraction. The point of the festival is to appreciate and explore treasures in our own backyards the same as we'd do if we traveled.
My assignment to cover Obscura Day came right on time as I thought about local trip-planning for the family. My husband, being the history and military buff that he is, has always expressed wanting to visit local battlefields and I, not being a history buff, had no clue where some of the pivotal locations of the American Revolution and the Civil War were in the area. Besides Gettysburg, PA and Williamsburg, VA, I was stumped (I was too busy passing notes in history class to pay attention). Little did I know that Fredericksburg held so much history. Now, I have to admit, I don't consider Fredericksburg to be right in my backyard. It takes me over an hour to get to the downtown area and is right at the cusp of what I'd consider a decent overnight trip and not a day trip (depending on what I've done for the day while there).
If you haven't explored the wealth of history in your own backyard, I encourage you to do so. Parents with children in middle to high school have an excellent opportunity to bring the images in their children's lesson books to life. As residents, there's no need to wait until summertime when tourism is at its peak. For those outside of that sub-group, there's just as much to gain from a day of backyard tourism in Fredericksburg as well. Below you will find a list of a few interesting sites to see along the way. Please add other interesting places to see in your comments for the rest of us to explore. Happy backyard travels.
· Mary Washington House
· Kenmore Plantation
· Rising Sun Tavern
· Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop
· Fredericksburg National Cemetery
· The house where Stonewall Jackson died
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.